Meaning of YEAR IN REVIEW 2000: SIDEBAR: LA BOMB(A) in English

La Bomb(a): The Latin Pop Explosion Hispanics were on their way to becoming the largest ethnic minority in the United States by the first decades of the 21st century, but their music was already tops in 1999. The year saw a proliferation of Top 40 hits by Latino artists in 1999 and an explosion of Latin pop music. At the forefront were handsome, charismatic Ricky Martina 27-year-old Puerto Rican, the movement's answer to the young Elvis Presleyand sultry Jennifer Lopez, a 29-year-old Nuyorican (New Yorker of Puerto Rican descent) who first gained fame as a film actress. By midsummer Martin's Livin' la Vida Loca and Lopez's If You Had My Love both had reached number one in the charts. Suddenly the singers were everywhereand not only in the Hispanic neighborhoodstheir voices bleeding from Walkman headphones, their faces on the covers of Rolling Stone and Time, their well-toned bodies in heavy rotation on MTV. That dancing was at the heart of their performances was no surprise, not only because of the seductive rhythms of Latin music. Before starring in the film biography of Selena, the ill-fated Tejano pop sensation, Lopez was a dancer on television's In Living Color; by age 12 Martin had joined Menudo, the teenage song-and-dance franchise. He later acted on American television's General Hospital and in Les Miserables on Broadway before embarking on a Spanish-language singing career that made him an international star. His galvanic performance at the 1999 Grammy Awards was the watershed event of the Latin pop explosion, its crossover moment. The notion of Latin music crossing over was not new, however. Since the 1930s, Latino musicians had flirted with mainstream acceptance in the U.S., beginning with the king of rhumba, Xavier Cugat. In the late 1940s, New Yorkers flocked to dance halls to hear Tito Puente and Eddie Palmieri. In 1959 Ritchie Valens had a Spanish-language rock-and-roll hit with La Bamba, and in the 1960s the group Santana infused its propulsive rock with Latin rhythms. Those rhythms were also pivotal to hits by non-Latinos, notably Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller's work with the Drifters in the early '60s and the Philadelphia soul of writer-producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff in the 1970s. In the 1980s, Cuban-born Gloria Estefan broke through with a string of Latin-flavoured pop hits, Spaniard Julio Iglesias became an international star, and Panamanian salsa singer Ruben Blades and Los Angeles's roots rockers Los Lobos became critics' darlings. None of these inroads, however, was as deep as the latest wave of Latin popwhich also included Nuyorican Marc Anthony; Julio Iglesias's son Enrique; Selena's widower, Chris Perez; and Colombian singer Shakira. Some critics noted that Martin's and Lopez's platinum hits were less than pure Latin music and much indebted to rock and rhythm-and-blues styles. Yet modern Latin popular music was a hybrid that drew on a variety of cultures and styles, from tango to Tejano ballads, Afro-Cuban polyrhythms to Brazilian bossa nova. Moreover, Martin and Lopez were careful not to ignore their Hispanic audience or the rapidly expanding Spanish-language radio market. Fans of world music also celebrated the resurgence of tropicalia, the eclectic, protest-oriented Brazilian music of the 1960s, and the 1999 release of The Buena Vista Social ClubWim Wenders's documentary film about the aging pre-Revolutionary Cuban musicians who, with American Ry Cooder (see Biographies), caused a sensation with their 1997 Grammy Awardwinning album. Jeff Wallenfeldt Learning at Home Once considered an exotic novelty reserved for such groups as religious fundamentalists, foreign service families, and touring musicians, home schooling in the United States by 1999 was enrolling more than 1,500,000 students, up from an estimated 12,500 in 1978. In the 12 states with the most accurate counts, home schoolers totaled 1.5% of the elementary- and secondary-school students. The reasons for this rapid growth varied, but all focused on perceived deficiencies in traditional education. From one family: We originally decided to homeschool because we felt that our public school was not providing an adequate education for our 2nd-grade daughter. As a well-behaved, quiet, passive child, she was used often as a buffer between disruptive children. Also, our daughter seemed to be ignored most of the time, while undisciplined children received most of the attention from the harried teacher. The class was chaotic, loud, and unproductive. Others cited a lack of emphasis on teaching moral and ethical behavior, the threat of violence in the schools, and ineffectiveness in dealing with both learning-disabled and highly gifted children. Critics of home schooling contended that it did not adequately prepare students academically and socially. By 1998 only 37 states had statutes that set standards for home schooling. Home-school advocates, however, pointed to an average score of 23 by their students on the American College Testing Program (ACT) test, compared with 21 for those who were educated traditionally. Although some parents handled all of the teaching of their children, many others enlisted outside help for particular subjects, especially at the high-school level. Those with computers were able to benefit from the wide variety of educational software that had become available as well as the resources provided by the Internet. Also, some communities and schools were allowing home schoolers to use their libraries and computers. In regard to socialization, many home schoolers engaged in Boy or Girl Scouts, organized sports, and church and community activities. There was even an annual Not Back to School Camp, held in Oregon during the late summer. Each year more than 150 students arrived at the camp to attend lectures and workshops and share their learning-at-home experiences. Many parents who attempted home schooling found the task too difficult, especially those with children at each end of the learning spectrum, and they eventually gave up. The success achieved by others, however, made it likely that increasing numbers of families would be setting up classrooms in their homes. David R. Calhoun Macau's Return to China At a formal handover ceremony on Dec. 20, 1999, Macau, the last remaining dependent state in Asia and, therefore, the final vestige of European colonialism in the region, reverted to Chinese sovereignty after 442 years of Portuguese rule. The new Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR)including the Macau Peninsula, Taipa Island, and Coloane Islandfollowed the path set by Hong Kong, which was handed over to China in 1997 after 156 years of British rule. Macau SAR, a 23.6-sq km (9.1-sq mi) territory with a population of more than 430,000, was to be ruled under China's one country, two systems model, with a Basic Law similar to the Hong Kong SAR's. Edmund Ho Hau Wah, a 44-year-old Canadian-educated banker and businessman, was elected chief executive by a special selection committee in May and approved by Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji. Ho, assisted by an Executive Council, would govern with the existing Legislative Council of 23 members (8 directly elected, 8 indirectly elected, and 7 appointed) until scheduled elections to an expanded 27-member Legislative Council (10 directly elected, 10 indirectly, and 7 appointed) were held in October 2001. The handover was welcomed in Macau, as were the 500 Chinese troops that crossed the border the following day. For several years Macau had been plagued by triad gang violence, much of it related to the enclave's popular gambling casinos. Local security forces also expelled several members of the religious sect Falun Gong, which was banned in China but legal in Macau, to prevent protests during the handover festivities. Melinda C. Shepherd Prosecuting the President On Jan. 7, 1999, the U.S. Senate convened as a court to try articles of impeachment against Democratic Pres. Bill Clinton. It was only the second time in U.S. history that a president had been tried by the Senate. The first impeachment trial took place in 1868, when by one vote the Senate acquitted Pres. Andrew Johnson of charges brought in a partisan dispute over his enforcement of Reconstruction policies and over his right to dismiss certain federal officials. Although also a highly partisan affair, the impeachment of Clinton by the Republican-led House of Representatives in December 1998 arose from Clinton's testimony concerning extramarital sexual affairs and involved charges that he had committed perjury before a federal grand jury and had obstructed justice in a civil case brought against him. The U.S. Constitution provided no more than an outline of the trial processthat the chief justice of the Supreme Court preside and that a two-thirds vote was required for conviction and removal from officeand the Senate itself had only those rules adopted for the Johnson trial. Under the latter the arguments for the prosecution and the defense were conducted in public, whereas deliberations and voting took place behind closed doors. The course of the trial was driven by the virtual certainty that there were not enough votes to convict and by the desire of the Senate to conclude quickly what was an unpopular action. On the other hand, the members of the House of Representatives who acted as the prosecutors in the Senate argued for a full-blown trial, to include the calling of witnesses. In the end the Senate opted for simpler proceedings, which took five weeks, and it generally avoided the bitter wrangling that had marked the House deliberations. According to agreements worked out by Senate leaders, beginning on January 14 the prosecutors and defense presented their cases, followed by questions from senators. (During these proceedings the president, on January 19, delivered the annual state of the union address to a joint session of Congress.) After further deliberations it was decided to depose three witnesses, including Monica Lewinsky, a former White House intern who was at the centre of the case against the president. On January 27 the Senate rejected a motion to dismiss the case by a vote of 5644. Beginning on February 1, the witnesses were deposed, and after a review of the transcripts, a request to call Lewinsky to testify in person was defeated 7030. Parts of the videotaped depositions were shown on the Senate floor, however, and on February 8 the two sides presented their closing arguments. On February 12 the Senate acquitted the president of the charge of perjury by a vote of 5545, with 10 Republicans joining the 45 Democrats. The vote on the charge of obstruction of justice was 5050, with 5 Republicans joining the Democrats. A number of senators who voted for acquittal were critical of the president's behaviour but said that the charges had not been proved beyond a reasonable doubt or, even if they had, did not constitute the high crimes and misdemeanors specified by the Constitution as grounds for removal from office. Robert Rauch The Banana War In early 1999 it appeared possible that a long-standing dispute over bananas might turn into a full-blown international trade war. On Dec. 21, 1998, the Office of the United States Trade Representative had announced that it would impose penalty rates of duty on a published list of European products if the European Union (EU) did not modify its proposed new import regime for bananas. The retaliation list covered such items as cheese, candles, handbags, sweaters, chandeliers, and bath items. The American action followed years of acrimonious debate and failed efforts to resolve a dispute over the European import regime for bananas. Under this regime the EU allowed a fixed tonnage of bananas from associated African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries to enter its market on a preferential basis. The U.S. and non-ACP countries in the Caribbean challenged both the level of such preferential imports and the preferential allocation of the import licenses to European firms that benefited by not having to pay the normal European tariff on banana imports. Under the dispute settlement procedure of the World Trade Organization (WTO), any country that believes its trade interests have been harmed by an action taken by another country can request the establishment of a panel to rule whether the measure violates world trade rules. If the panel agrees that the measure violates the rules, and if this finding is confirmed by the standing Appeals Body upon appeal, the offending country must either eliminate the provisions found to be inconsistent with the rules or give the complaining countries increased market access in some other area. If it does neither, the complaining countries can impose retaliatory duties on imports from the offending country. Under this procedure the U.S. and a number of Caribbean countries brought a complaint against the EU banana regime in 1995. A WTO panel found in mid-1997 that the regime violated the rules of the WTO, and this finding was confirmed by the Appeals Body the following September. In response to these findings, the European Council adopted a new regime in 1998, but the U.S. argued that the new regime did not substantially alter the previous regime and it therefore had a right to retaliate. What followed over much of 1999 was a protracted argument over whether the U.S. had a right to retaliate or had to initiate a new complaint. In the end a new WTO panel agreed with the EU that the WTO had to review the new EU regime before the U.S. could retaliate, and it subsequently agreed with the U.S. that the new regime continued to violate the rules. The public exposure accorded to the banana war in the daily press marked the increased importance of trade and the WTO in a globalizing world economy. Geza Feketekuty The Euro's First Birthday On Jan. 1, 1999, 11 European nations embarked on the European Union's (EU's) most ambitious project ever. In a move that would lead in 2002 to the abolition of their national currencies, they gave birth to a common unit of exchange called the euro (represented with the symbol ). Given the enormous financial and technical obstacles that confronted them during preparations, the birthday passed off remarkably smoothly. Even before the market began trading euros, politicians celebrated with champagne in Brussels. One year later the single currency, so far just a noncash unit of exchange, was thriving. It was not, however, an easy 12 months. There were widely predicted arguments about whether politicians or bankers should be in charge of running monetary policy in the so-called euro zone. There were also worries early on about a slide in the currency's value against the dollar and sterling. The euro reached its highest point against the dollar just four days after its launch1.1899. After that, its value dropped steadily until the summer as the markets reacted adversely to an all-too-public battle in which politicians, led by German Finance Minister Oskar Lafontaine, put pressure on the European Central Bank (ECB), based in Frankfurt, Ger., to cut interest rates. The interventions called into question the bank's promised independence and wobbled the foreign exchange markets. When the ECB ignored the calls, politicians turned their guns on the ECB itself, criticizing its faceless bankers for their lack of transparency and political accountability. Although dangerous, the political crisis largely disappeared after Lafontaine resigned suddenly in March. By July the currency had reached its lowest rate against the dollar1.011. While EU leaders agonized over how to respond to the fall, its low value acted as a lifeline to European exporters. In fact, worries about the euro's value were overblown. Because of the dollar's weakness in the second half of 1998, the euro had begun its life at an excessively high level, and a drop had always been in the cards. Its progress also reflected economic realitywhile the U.S. economy bounced along, growth in most euro zone economies was faltering. Moreover, even while its value was low, the new currency was getting a good reception on the markets. By the end of the year, the euro had overtaken the dollar as the preferred international issuance currency. It was regaining strength, and the political spats that characterized the beginning of its life had tailed off. It still remained to decide when the four EU countries that did not join at the startDenmark, Greece, Sweden, and the U.K.would enter the euro zone. All seemed on track to meet the entrance criteria and could opt in within five years. A second question was how to ensure a smooth introduction of euro notes and coins scheduled to replace national currencies in 2002. The switch would be a gigantic task, but it was one that would bring home to the public the reality of the euro. Emma Tucker The New MillenniumJust When Is It Anyway? No sooner had people planning their 1999 New Year's Eve celebrations referred to Jan. 1, 2000, as ushering in the 3rd millennium than someone declaimed that the new millennium would not really begin until Jan. 1, 2001. The Gregorian calendar, put forth in 1582 and subsequently adopted by most countries, did not include a year 0 in the transition from BC (the years before Christ) to AD (those since his birth). Thus, the 1st millennium ran from year 1 through 1000, and the 2nd began in 1001 and would end on Dec. 31, 2000not 1999. Those opting for 2000 as the beginning of the new millennium were not to be put off, however. For them, it was enough that the first digit in the year was changing and that the year was a multiple of 1,000. Computers facing problems caused by the use of a two-digit space for the year in their programsand the possibility that when those two digits began again at 00 the computer might be unable to tell which century was being referred towere said to be endangered by the Millennium Bug. The terms new millennium and next millennium in reference to the year 2000 were ubiquitous in the media. Whereas some people feared that this new millennium would bring apocalyptic upheaval and impending doom, others were planning extraordinary celebrations. In London the Millennium Domebuilt in Greenwich on the prime meridian, where, because of the decision of the International Prime Meridian Conference in 1884, each new day officially beginswas considered the location where the millennium would start. It was poised to be host to elaborate exhibitions and celebrations beginning Dec. 31, 1999, although its site on the World Wide Web admitted that technically the new millennium would not start until Jan. 1, 2001. On the opposite side of the globe, cruise ships were to be positioned at the international date line and planes would fly over it so that their passengers could usher in the new millennium the instant calendar day January 1 began on local clocks. From a number of South Pacific locations came claims that they would be the first to see the dawn of the new millennium and that theirs were the celebrations that people should flock to. In actuality, however, the question of when the new millennium would start was probably moot; scholars had for some time placed Christ's birth date at 4 or 6 BC. As astronomy historian Marvin Bolt reiterated in a 1999 program at Chicago's Adler Planetarium, a 6th-century monk known as Dennis the Short (Dionysius Exiguus; also called Denis the Little), attempting to determine the exact year Christ was born, made a miscalculation that came to be reflected in the Christian calendar. It was likely that the actual new millennium had already begun. Barbara Whitney

Britannica English vocabulary.      Английский словарь Британика.